Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Harry’s Charbroil

Harry's Charbroil

I’ve heard gossip that Grant van Gameren, the relentlessly successful chef behind Bar Raval and Bar Isabel, has no less than a dozen new business concepts in the works. Maybe it’s Bunyan-esque hyperbole, but it squares with the past year, when he opened three: the mescal-centric El Rey (No. 17 on this list), a cocktail bar called Pretty Ugly and this spot, a takeover of an ancient Parkdale diner.

Much remains unchanged about the Harry’s Charbroil experience, but the burgers have gotten an upgrade. Photo by Dave Gillespie

He left the look intact, including the patchwork linoleum floors, smoky-mirrored walls and tabletop jukeboxes (last updated circa “Beat It”). The short-order menu, however, has been van Gameren-ized. Be sure to get the burger with a green chorizo patty, its heat slightly tempered by a sweet tomatillo relish. I’m also a fan of the skirt steak on a bun, which is especially good dipped in a bowl of gravy (by request), and the Miami-style ribs, which are sweet, tender and paired with a tart green sauce. Nearly everything comes with chunky fries. They’re crispy and addictive, though I’d try to save room for a dessert special like cherry crumble with vanilla ice cream. Experience Harry’s while you can: it sits next to a now-closed No Frills and one of the neighbourhood’s last-surviving parking lots—in other words, prime condo territory.

160 Springhurst Ave., 416-532-2908

Harry’s makeover includes a vegetarian fried eggplant sandwich with tomato sauce and Caesar salad.